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Joystiq presents

DS conquers all competitors in UK, prepares to assault mainland

The British gaming industry sales watchers at MCV are reporting today that the DS has overtaken both the PS2 and PC in unit sales and overall market value in the UK. They attribute the little portable's triumph to its strong sales since Easter, as well as bumper crop of high quality releases, including Pokemon Diamond and Pearl and More Brain Training, that currently account for over 15% of the all game sales!

While sales of Apple's iPod might indicate otherwise, one has to wonder how long the DS can hold onto its worldwide domination. But by then, it'll be time for some new colors or an even sleeker form factor. Onboard flash memory, anyone?

Final Fantasy Tactics A2 hits Japan on Oct. 25

While we may be a little disappointed with some of what Square Enix is offering us with Final Fantasy Tactics A2: The Sealed Grimoire, that certainly doesn't mean we stop hoping. Of course, the first FFTA was no slouch, and a game building off that formula still makes us take notice, even if it's not going as far as we (or any touchscreen-enabled, Wi-Fi connected DS owner) might like.

In preparation for the game's October 25th Japanese release, Square Enix has continued to shed light on some of the additions to the races and jobs that will be available. As we've mentioned previously, we know about the Hume, Moogle, Viera, Bangaa and Nu Moh races, with two more yet to be revealed. On the job front, they have recently added Yojimbo for the Humes, Chocobo Knight and Magic Gunner for the Moogles, Green Mage and Magic Fencer for the Viera, Master Monk and Cannoneer for the Bangaa, and Arcane Mage for the Nu Moh. This brings the total number of jobs announced for all races to 49, with another three still a mystery.

Squeenix has also released a handful of new images with the new classes in action, so check 'em out! What do you think, does it look good, or does its younger target demographics and lack of touchscreen use damage its appeal?

Taito announces Arkanoid DS, special paddle included

Those boys over at Famitsu are at it again, breaking news that Taito Corporation will be bringing its much loved and often ported classic, Arkanoid, to the Nintendo DS. It's currently set for release in Japan on December 6th, and from what we can tell will also include multiple game modes like Quest Mode (which will presumably involve you heroically piloting your space paddle to save a princess from the evil clutches of Doh).

But what really tricks out this otherwise mildly noteworthy release is that Taito will include a special controller reminiscent of classic arcade paddles. The paddle will plug into the GBA cartridge slot below the Nintendo DS and come in four DS Lite-friendly colors. Nostalgia Get!

Hit up the break for the scan from this week's Famitsu, including shots of the paddle controllers and the long, dual screen Break Out action.

Continue reading Taito announces Arkanoid DS, special paddle included

Viva Pinata goes portable on the DS

As had been hinted at earlier this year by Microsoft VP Shane Kim, Rare officially confirmed at the San Diego Comic-Con that its much overlooked fiesta / garden sim Viva Piñata will be smashing its way onto the DS.

While all we have currently is a blurry photo taken at the convention of what the game will look like, Rare has confirmed on the popular forums (well, popular if you played the Xbox 360 version) that Viva Piñata DS will use the same gameplay principles as the original garden-sim title, as opposed to the recently announced party game for the 360. That means all the produce-tending, romance dancing, and savage piñata-on-piñata combat your little portable can handle.

Beyond that, all we can tell you at this point is that it's being cultivated by the original Viva Piñata team and according to Rare, "The DS team have done an amazing job at getting most of the features from the original into the DS version." Wi-Fi connectivity and official release date are still unknown, but we wouldn't be surprised to see it sprout up for purchase in time for the holidays.

We're expecting an official announcement from Rare any time, but for now, check out that action shot after the break.

Continue reading Viva Pinata goes portable on the DS

NEVES of steel required to play this puzzle game

Yuke's Company of America announced yesterday that it will bring its grown-up puzzle game NEVES (previously mentioned here as Hamekomi Lucky Puzzle DS in Japan) to the States. According to the press release by U.S. publisher Atlus, players must "think critically as they align pieces and build figures that correspond to a silhouette. Each puzzle features seven wooden blocks, requiring the player to combine them to form specific figures ranging from simple items like a sword or key to more complicated ones such as birds or airplanes."

The concept reminds us of a tangram version of the Touch Puzzle mode on Tetris DS, and that was just a single mode in a much larger game. We commend Yuke's for creating games on the more cerebral side, but unique as the concept might be, we hope the title can pack enough variety to warrant more than a passing time investment. There is hope, however, since it will feature more than 500 puzzle pieces to manipulate and game modes including puzzle mode, time mode, versus mode, and count mode. (AH! AH! AH! One puzzle piece! TWO puzzle pieces! sorry, couldn't help it.)

Regardless, the DS is looking to be the premiere platform for the puzzle genre, and NEVES will bring a more mature tone when it arrives on American shores later this year.

Gallery: NEVES

Continue reading NEVES of steel required to play this puzzle game

Super Mario Bros. ceiling fan on eBay until noon tomorrow!

Are you a fanatical collector of all things Nintendo? Do you need something prismatic to circulate air in your newborn's nursery? Or are you as much a Nintendo fanboy as we are, and just think something like this is TOTALLY SWEET?

According to the auction, the fan was produced in 1988 and is still in good working condition. The sale ends at 11:57 AM tomorrow morning, so be on the lookout for auction snipers. Currently sitting at $51.00 USD, it's a steal even by ordinary ceiling fan standards. And you can rest assured, with this colorful relic of Nintendo's bygone hegemony wafting cool air down upon you, no one will doubt your allegiance to the boys in Kyoto.

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